James Gandolfini’s son, Michael Gandolfini, has officially been cast to play a young version of his dad’s character, Tony, in the upcoming prequel to ‘The Sopranos’. Here are five things you should know about him.
Michael Gandolfini, 19, had Sopranos fans excited on Jan. 22, when Deadline reported that he will play a young version of his dad, the late James Gandolfini‘s character, Tony Soprano, in the upcoming prequel movie, The Many Saints of Newark. The prequel was written by original creator of the series, David Chase and writer, Lawrence Konner, and will be directed by Alan Taylor. It’s set to showcase the life of the New Jersey organized crime family boss in his days before The Sopranos television series started. Before his death in 2013, James won multiple Emmy Awards, SAG Awards and more for the iconic role of Tony, which he played from 1999 to 2007, so Michael will have some huge shoes to fill! Here’s everything you should know about the young actor before he honors his father and follows in his footsteps for the new film.
1.) He had a breakout role in HBO’s The Deuce. The recurring role helped him to gain acting experience and gain exposure in 2018. He also appeared in the popular film, Ocean’s 8, the same year.
2.) Despite being James’ son, he still had to go through a thorough audition process to win the role of Tony. In addition to his amazing resemblance to his dad, Michael had amazing screen presence and strikingly similar mannerisms to the character of Tony when he auditioned, insiders told Deadline. The filmmakers felt there was no one who understood the role better than Michael, so he was the obvious choice for part. “It’s a profound honor to continue my dad’s legacy while stepping into the shoes of a young Tony Soprano,” Michael told the publication, after news of the casting made headlines. “I’m thrilled that I’m going to have the opportunity to work with David Chase and the incredible company of talent he has assembled for The Many Saints of Newark.”
3.) He’s also worked as a producer and writer. Michael acted in, produced and wrote the short film, Flower, in 2015.
4.) He documents exciting life moments on his Instagram account. His most recent post shows him getting a tattoo that reads the word “FAITH” over a line with the word “FEAR” under it. “Faith Over Fear,” he captioned the post. He also uses his social media account to share heartfelt tributes to his dad. Back in Sept. 2018, he posted a pic of himself as a kid with James in honor of the late star’s birthday. “Happy birthday Dad. Today we celebrate you,” his caption for the pic read. “We celebrate the times we had, the secrets we shared, the fun adventures, and the lessons you taught me. I Love you more and more each day. I miss your laugh and I miss your smile, but I’m so lucky that I got to be your son. I’m working hard to make you proud and I feel you beside me every step of the way. It won’t ever get easy without you here, but that’s ok, cause I’m grateful for all our times. Thank you for sending me role models and a group of men who help teach, guide, educate, and inspire me. I miss you and I love you.”
5.) As an actor, and son of one of Hollywood’s most beloved actors, Michael gets to hang out with pretty cool people. On his Instagram page, he’s shared eye-catching photos with some seriously major celebs, including Michelle Williams, Saoirse Ronan, and Amy Schumer.